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Instrumentation Amplifier Delivers High Power at L Band

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article image compact lightweight amplifier from RFI Industries

TMD Technologies first began developing its range of laboratory instrumentation microwave amplifiers for EMC testing, scientific and medical applications in the 1990s.

The technology grew from TMD's strength in high power military radar amplifiers and provided the marketplace with units of equal reliability and high performance, but re-packaged for less demanding physical environments into compact, affordable 19 inch rack mountable units.  

Since then, TMD's instrumentation amplifiers, which cover the range 1-40 GHz, have gained a worldwide reputation for design innovation, offering many unusual and unique products unobtainable elsewhere.  

This innovation is driven by the needs of the market. In particular, changing EMC testing regulations continue to offer many new challenges which we have to meet.  

The latest amplifier developments, for example, have been driven by Aerospace EMC testing programmes related to the RTCA DO160 standards - particularly affecting new aircraft such as the Airbus 380 and Boeing 787.

Due to the increasing use of carbon fibre in the structures, these aircraft are more susceptible to  microwave radiation than the older style passenger aircraft with all-metal structures.  

In particular, there is a need for the microwave amplifiers used in HIRF testing to deliver a peak power of more than 5 kW at L band frequencies, in order to achieve the necessary field strength requirements.  

This is a technically challenging area for amplifier design in which TMD has succeeded. In 2002 TMD had already successfully developed a very special high pulsed power amplifier delivering a minimum of 20 kW from 1.1-1.5 GHz.

This was for a specific programme run by the Swedish National Testing and Research Institute for susceptibility testing of vehicles - emulating the conditions generated by high power L band airport surveillance radars.

TMD, now represented by RFI Industries , have now further developed its capability with two new compact lightweight amplifiers, which together achieve a peak power of more than 6 kW from 1.0 to 2.0 GHz - at a size of only 4 U and without the need for water cooling.

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